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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Rotary Club gives Emma Bishop the Kate Smith Scholarship

May 18, 2018
By SUSAN FRIEDMANN - Lake Placid Rotary Club , Lake Placid News

Every year the Lake Placid Rotary Club remembers the accomplishments of long-time summer resident, Kate Smith (1907-1986) by annually awarding the Kate Smith Scholarship. This prestigious award goes to a deserving junior or senior at the Lake Placid High School.

Kate Smith is well-known for her performances on radio, television and theater as well as being a successful vocal music recording star. She enjoyed broadcasting her radio variety show each summer from her camp on Lake Placid. She is, perhaps, best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."

To find a deserving student to receive this award, the Rotary Club selects a committee which comprises the vocal and instrumental faculty department at LPHS, the high school guidance counselor, the school principal and a Rotary Club representative.

Article Photos

Lake Placid High School music teacher Kim Weems and student Emma Bishop
(Photo provided)

The committee is tasked to choose a junior or senior who best exemplifies excellence in music at the high school.

The winning student should have demonstrated his or her musical talents through outstanding and significant contributions in various school activities such as, NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) solo events, chorus, women's ensemble, school musicals, band, jazz band and more.

Because Kate Smith is well known for her contribution to vocal music, special attention is given to candidates' contributions in this particular area.

This year's Kate Smith Scholarship Award winner is Emma Bishop, who recently played the lead role in this year's high school musical, "The Boy Friend."

Cheered on by her whole family, and accompanied by her choral director Kim Weems, Emma sang two pieces to the members present before receiving her award. The first song was "Part of Your World" from the movie "The Little Mermaid," and the second piece was "Poor Wandering One" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance."

When asked what it means to her to receive this prestigious award, she said, "It's an honor to be able to share my gift of singing with so many people who love and support me. I'm particularly grateful to Ms. Weems, my vocal teacher, because she's my biggest mentor and always pushes to do my best."

The scholarship award includes a cash prize of $1,000. The intent is that the money be used by the recipient for college applications or other college-related expenses.

Rotary began presenting this award in 1994 with the first winner being Heather Smith.

Emma is the 25th recipient of this award, and her name will be engraved on a permanent plaque displayed at the high school, along with the 24 previous recipients.

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid is part of a global network of 1.2 million people who come together to make positive, lasting changes in communities locally, nationally and internationally.

The club meets every Thursday at 7:20 a.m. at the Marriott Courtyard. For more information, go to



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